W.G.C. Cadillac Championship. Reed Resplendent.

dragon logo darkWGC-Cadillac Championship

Patrick Reed was resplendent in winning the WGC. Cadillac Championship at Doral, on the Blue Monster.

Wrap-up: Reed earns third TOUR title

Patrick Reed / GettyImages

Patrick has proved what he has always believed, that he belongs among the best in the world. He has won the WGC Cadillac Championship trophy, his third Tour win in seven months, shooting a final round of even par 72, to post -4 under par.

When asked on live TV what he thought about his achievement Patrick proudly answered;

“I just don’t see a lot of guys that have done that, besides Tiger Woods, of course, and all of the other legends of the game. I believe in myself. Especially after how hard I’ve worked, that I’m one of the top five players in the world. To come out of a field like this and to hold on wire to wire like that, I feel like I’ve proven myself.”

Tied in second place at -3 under par were Bubba Watson and Jamie Donaldson. Bubba had a fine last round of -4 under par, and then admitted that this course scares him;

“I’m where I want to be, my ball striking I wish was a little bit better. But certain golf courses just scare me half to death and around here scared me a lot but I played it really well this week.”

Jamie said he has always been a late developer, but he is happy with where he is right now;

“I’ve always been pretty much a late developer in most things, really. I left school before I could develop any there!  So I had to play golf, really. My career has been up and down for me.  Early on, I started off pretty good and then I had a big loss for four years after injury, and then I just had to regroup and do things that worked and work hard and keep believing. I just forced the wheel the other direction, and that’s what it’s done.  I’ve found something that was working and just kept doing it and kept getting better at doing it, and then here we are getting better, again, so I’m happy.”

Tiger Woods, who started the day in contention said the pain in his back intensified after his bunker shot on the sixth. A nasty lie leaving him with his left foot in the bunker, and the right pressing  against the lip of the bunker;

” That’s what set it off and then it was done after that. Just see if I could actually manage, keep the spasms at bay.”

He carded a final round of +6 over par 78, with a total of +5 over par, dropping him twenty-one places to T25. Tiger also failed to make a birdie in a final round for the first time in his career, and the lead up to the first Major is not going well;

“If I feel good, I can actually make a pretty decent swing, you saw it Saturday. But if I’m feeling like this, it’s a little tough.”

Nedbank Golf Challenge. Brilliant Björn Valiant.

Valiant Thomas Björn triumphed in the Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, South Africa.

Thomas Bjorn  (Getty Images)

Thomas Björn / Getty Images

Thomas carded a super -7 under par 65 to overcome a similar super score from Sergio Garcia in the final round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City. The difference was two shots as Thomas finished on -20 under par and Sergio tied on -18 under par in second place with Jamie Donaldson. Jamie could only manage a -2 under par final round.

Thomas spoke about his special day, and the two Eagles on the back nine;

“This is right up there with the best days of my career. You never forget your first victory, and then my win against Tiger in Dubai when I went toe-to-toe with him for four days and came out top was special, but winning here in the way that I did against a field of this quality is up there. I knew I had to shoot something low and then see what Jamie was doing. It turned out that it was Sergio and every time I saw a leaderboard he was making birdies. I am very proud of the way I played today,  it’s a very special day in my career.Obviously having two eagles on the back nine on a Sunday doesn’t happen very often. The shot into 14 was a bit fortunate but that’s what happens when you win golf tournaments, I guess.”

Sergio finally succumbed to a bogey on the 16th hole;

“I tried to be aggressive all day and drove the ball well, I had just one bad swing on 16. But Thomas played unbelievably and I needed to keep birdieing if I was to have a chance.”

Poor old Jamie Donaldson must have wondered what hit him, he started the day with a three shot lead, and then lost by two.

Henrik Stenson was in fourth place at -16 under par, shooting a -5 under par 67, on a day that was full of low scores.

 

 

Nedbank Golf Challenge. Donaldson Dominates.

Jamie Donaldson dominates at the Nedbank Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, South Africa.

Jamie Donaldson  (Getty Images)

Jamie Donaldson / Getty Images

Jamie carded a -5 under par 67 in round three of the Nedbank Golf Challenge to lead the tournament at -16 under par, a three shot advantage going into the final round. It would have been a shot more had he not bogeyed the 17th hole, he said he was between clubs;

“I was in between clubs and it put me in trouble but in the end I came out with a good five. I’m still in a strong position and I’ve got to go out there tomorrow and play really good golf.  It’s a tough field, a lead of three doesn’t mean much among these guys.”

Thomas Björn and Ryan Moore are tied in second place at -13 under par, Thomas thinks he still has a chance tomorrow in the final round, if he can go low;

“I got off to a good start and played solid golf. That’s what you need to do on this course. If I can shoot 66 or 67 tomorrow, I’ll give myself a chance. But you have to play sensible golf, not try and chase down the leader.”

Ryan, a recent winner on the US PGA Tour, carded a -3 under par 33 front nine, before picking up two further shots on the back to complete a -5 under par 67 third round.

Five shots off the lead at -11 under par for the tournament are Thongchai Jaidee, Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson.

Henrik will be ruing his compounded error, twice finding the water en route to a double bogey seven at the par four ninth hole.

Sergio produced one of the shots of the day, to chip in for an Eagle 3 at the par five 14th hole, and followed that with birdies at 16 and 17. While Thongchai went bogey free in his round of -6 under par 66.

Nedbank Golf Challenge. Like Lights Up His Dull Year.

Luke Donald lights up his dull year, leading the Nedbank Golf Challenge event at Gary Player Country Club, in a suspended first round in South Africa.

Cool hand Luke off to a flier in stormy Sun City

Luke Donald / Getty Images

Luke was at -5 under par through eleven holes, starting birdie, Eagle, before the violent  thunderstorms brought a premature end to day one at Gary Player Country Club.

Luke said he was feeling good about his game, and is playing with confidence;

“It doesn’t get much better than a three-three start around here, birdie-eagle and all of a sudden you are three under par through two holes. I played solid for those first eleven holes and hit a couple of very nice shots in that time that I was able to take advantage of. I feel good over the ball right now and I am playing with confidence. I took a lot of confidence from winning in Japan. It is a place that I love to go back and a course that I love to play so it was very satisfying to be able to go back there and defend. I had seen good signs in Dubai the week before that and did some good work on my long game with Chuck Cook before I left for Dubai and I really felt the benefit of that. I also have to say that the putting came back in Dubai and Japan. That had been a little off for most of the year so it was very encouraging to get that back and I am feeling good about my game right now.”

Tied in second place at -3 under par are,  Denmark’s Thomas Björn, Welshman Jamie Donaldson, and Zimbabwean Brandon de Jonge. Brandon holed out for an eagle on the ninth hole which catapulted him up the leaderboard just before the suspension of play for the day.

The defending champion, Martin Kaymer is at -2 under par, having completed six holes, while The Race to Dubai champion Henrik Stenson is at -1 under par after seven holes.

Round one play will resume at 07:30 local time on Friday morning, with round two expected to tee off from 10:10.

Turkish Airlines Open. Victor Victorious.

Victor Dubuisson was victorious at the Turkish Airlines Open on the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course in Antalya.

Victor Dubuisson  (Getty Images)

Victor Dubuisson / Getty Images

Victor kept his head while the high-profile chasing pack tried to whittle away at the five shot lead he started the day with. A final round of -3 under par 69 was good enough to keep him in front and pick up the Turkish Airlines Open, his total score at -24 under par.

He said the pressure was great, it was the longest day on a golf course for him;

“I don’t know how to describe it, now I don’t realise what’s happening. I felt so much pressure on the last hole. Holing this putt on 17 was like; it was incredible. It was incredible, and the birdie on 18, it’s a bonus. But even on the last putt, I was feeling so much stress.  After this day, it was the longest day on the course that I’ve ever had. I’m very proud of what I did.”

With the big guns failing in their task of catching Victor, Jamie Donaldson worked his way up the leaderboard, to finish in second place at -22 under par, just two shots adrift.

Jaime received one million air miles from the tournament sponsor after holing his tee-shot at 16 for an Ace, using a seven-iron. This result has moved him up to fifth place in the Race To Dubai standings.

“It’s mad, it’s weird, when it goes in. You hit it right down the flag and you’re hoping in the air that it’s going to be close.When it lands and vanishes it’s like, ‘Where’s that gone?’. The fact you get something extra for it as well, is nice.”

Tied in third spot at -20 under par were US Open Champion Justin Rose and Tiger Woods.

 Justin was happy that he had made up ground on Henrik in the Race to Dubai.

“I think I’ve gained some ground, yeah, for sure. It’s nice to be able to control your own fate next week. So if I go in and have a good week, win a golf tournament, which is obviously the aim any time you tee it up, but if I go ahead and do that, that’s going to obviously be the exact scenario I’m looking for. Fifth last week, probably tied for third this week, I like the way that’s trending towards No. 1.”

Tiger lamented that he just did not make enough birdies;

“On a golf course like this where you have to make so many birdies, I just didn’t make enough. You just had to be so aggressive all of the time and that is reflected by how many guys made runs of four or five birdies in a row.”

Ian Poulter tied in fifth place, his final score at -19 under par, but he too is closer to Henrik for next week’s finale in the Race to Dubai.

Henrik battled on with his wrist injury and finished just two shots adrift of Justin and one behind Ian. He hopes to have the wrist sorted out by next week;

“I’m still happy with the Top 10 and thanks to a few of the other guys, yeah, I’ve still got the lead heading into the last week. My preparation is going to be less than I would have liked (due to his wrist), but again, I’ve played Jumeirah Golf Estates so many times, so hopefully I shouldn’t have to be further behind than I need to do that. So the most important thing is to get healthy long-term, and be able to play next week.”

Euro Tour. Nordea Masters, Magical Manassero Tied For 1st Round Lead

 

Magical Matteo Manassero is in a tie for the first round lead at the European Tour, Nordea Masters, just a week after his win at Wentworth.

Matteo Manassero   (Getty Images)

Matteo Manassero / Getty Images

Matteo shot a first round of -6 under par 66 at the Nordea Masters on the Bro Hof Slott Golf Course in Sweden. He is tied at the top of the leaderboard with  Pablo Larrazábal.

Matteo said he was impressed with his unusual fast start, not showing any signs of tiredness after weeks effort:

” I’ve never started that well, it was a great start, I was making putts and to start like that was strange because I’m not used to it. I’ve been tired but I woke up and I felt good. It’s a tough course when the wind picks up so I think every afternoon is going to be hard.”

Pablo sunk a 40 foot birdie on his way to a 66;

” I played great, I was five under after ten. I made birdies on the par fives and held my score  it wasn’t easy. The golf course is playing okay this morning but you can make a double or triple bogey. I played safe when I had to and more aggressive when I could.”

The best of the scores all came from the morning session, before the wind got up. Jamie Donaldson completed a flawless 67 to sit alongside one of the home favorites, Fredrik Andersson Hed.  Chris Lloyd and Simon Wakefield matched that score and they are all in the clubhouse T3  at -5 under par.

The afternoons best score came from another home favorite, Alex Noren, the 2011 winner of this tournament. He also had a -5 under par, 67 to join the morning players at T3.

Alex stated that it was a tough front nine:

” It was a tough front nine, I hit the driver good but didn’t hit the greens I wanted. Then I made birdie on 11 and mentally it was a very nice birdie so it gave me a very nice rhythm. To the eye it looks like you can go for everything and what I’ve learned from this course is if you play a bit more conservatively on the par fives, if you’re on the green you will probably make a birdie.”

So it appears that the afternoon winds, and who manages them the best will have a good opportunity to win here in Sweden.

 

Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, Justin Jogs Along

 

Justin Rose  (Getty Images)

Justin Rose / Getty Images

Justin Rose jogged through the third round of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship with a -4 under par round of 68. He now has a two shot lead over the field. Jamie Donaldson is in second place at -10 under par after his third round score of -3 69, he shares second spot with Thorbjorn Olesen.

Thongchai Jaidee is alone in fourth place at -9 under par following his marvelous round of -6 under par, 66. New Zealand’s Michael Campbell is still showing some interest in this tournament, he now at -7 under par, five shots off the pace going into the last round.

Justin was pretty candid with his comments;

“I came here with no expectations, I came here to see where my game is at. Anybody who wins this week, they have beaten the Number One and Number Two in the world. You can say you’ve beaten the best. I believe that any tournament I tee up in I can win.”

Jaime Donaldson had a victory last year in the Irish Open, so far that is his only triumph, but he is feeling confident here;

“I feel pretty good, I played some great recovery shots out there. It was another tough day out there, even though there wasn’t much wind. I couldn’t have really scored much better than that.”

Thorbjorn Olesen won the Sicilian Open last year, and is also full of confidence;

“I won last year and that gave me a lot of confidence, and I had a few second places. So I’m learning in every tournament, and it’s been a really good process the last three years. Hopefully I can make a few birdies tomorrow and make it exciting.”

David Howell, is at -8 under par, his last victory was  in 2006 at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, but has kind of dropped off the radar since then. David commented about his record in this tournament;

 “I’ve never really played well here, a couple of top twenties I think maybe. But if I can have a great day tomorrow obviously I can post a very good total. I’ve played really consistently for the best part of a year and I’m playing some of the best golf I ever have really. I’m just coming from a low position. It’s hard to fight your way back up there, but I’m doing it bit by bit and a big finish or a win would go a long way to taking me right back to where I want to be.”

I honestly don’t think David, or anyone can catch Justin, with the mood that he is in. He was relegated to fifth in the Official World Golf Rankings by Louis Oosthuizen’s victory in South Africa last week, Justin would take the position back by lifting a title worth €336,725.

 

 

Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, Rory and Tiger Miss Cut

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods  (Getty Images)

Tiger & Rory / Getty Images

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods both missed the cut after the second round at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, played on the Abu Dhabi Golf Course.

Rory McIlroy collapsed to a second successive round of 75, to bow out of the event in which finished as runner-up last year. Guess the new clubs are not working yet. He put it down to the speed of the greens and even changed putters for the second round, to no avail;

“I just felt the greens I have been practicing on were much faster. It was just a weight issue. I’ve got four weeks to work on it. I knew it was going to be a tough week. I hit the ball really well in Dubai last week, but it just got worse for some reason. I’m very disappointed, you never want to get off to a poor start, but I’ve got to realize it’s only the start of the season.”

Tiger Woods thought he had finished safely inside the cut mark on one over, but his bogey five was changed to a triple-bogey seven after discussions with European Tour Senior Referee Andy McFee. Tiger had taken a drop from an embedded ball on the 5th hole after his tee shot had gone way right. Tiger asked Martin Kaymer about the embedded ball and they both agreed that he could get relief, citing rule 25/2 Embedded Ball. Tiger explained;

“I called Martin over to verify the ball was embedded. We both agreed, but evidently it was sand. It’s tough, I didn’t get off to a very good start and I fought hard. I battled back and got it to where I thought I could play the weekend, and thought I might have a chance, just post two low rounds. But I won’t be able to do that.”

As no referee was involved at the time, some spectators later asked a referee why Tiger was allowed a free drop, because the ball was in sand. The referee involved and Andy McFee investigated the incident, this is how he explained it;

“Tiger hit his tee shot on the fifth way out to the right and when he got over there to the ball, he called Martin Kaymer over and said, ‘look, I’ve got an embedded ball here’. So Martin came and had look at it, agreed the ball was embedded;  Tiger proceeded under the embedded ball rule, dropped the ball and played on.  No referee was involved in that situation.  It was only later that a couple of spectators walking past the referee who had seen that asked, ‘Why did Tiger get a drop there?’  and the referee didn’t know.  Obviously no referee was involved but we suspected it might have been embedded ball.  So we went and had a look at the area and thought, well, embedded ball rule just does not apply in that rule. The embedded ball rule is for a closely mown area, only.  There’s a note to that rule, which all the major tours in the world use, which extends embedded ball relief to through the green, but that is very specific in that it says, in ground other than sand. So wherever you are, you do not get a relief for a ball which is embedded in sand, and that’s just a bad lie and you have to play it. Obviously we want people to deal with rules issues themselves, providing they get it right, but unfortunately in this one, they didn’t, and it incurred a two-stroke penalty.”

Meanwhile Justin Rose is the tournament leader, adding a second round  69 to his opening round of 67 and at -8  under par was one shot ahead of Welshman Jamie Donaldson, Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño and Dane Thorbjorn Olesen.

Justin Rose  (Getty Images)

Justin Rose / Getty Images

Justin said he had to play a patient game;

“I felt like my game definitely sharpened up, when you have perfect distance control you know you are swinging it well. I thought it was a decent enough score to keep the momentum going. I was pin-high probably eight times, but kept leaving myself awkward distances and had to keep patient.”

BMW Masters, China, Peter Hanson Wins

Peter Hanson  (Getty Images)

Peter Hanson/Getty Images

Ryder Cup player Peter Hanson won the BMW Masters at  Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai, China, shooting a last round of -5 under par 67, to lift the title with a tournament total of -21 under par. He held at bay another Ryder Cup player, World number one, Rory McIlroy who also had a last round of -5 under par 67, and was beaten by just one shot.

Members of the 2012 European Ryder Cup Team filled the first four places with Luke Donald finishing alone in third place after his final round of -6 under par 66, and he must be ruing his customary slow start to a tournament. Best round of the day came from another Ryder Cupper, Ian Poulter, who fired in a final round -7 under par 65, to end up in fourth spot on his own. Ireland’s Shane Lowry finished in fifth place alone on -15 under par.

It was nice to see a return to form from England’s Paul Casey, who finished the tournament at -14 under par, he was tied for sixth place along with, Justin Rose, Louis Oosthuizen, Noren Alexander and the man from Zimbabwe, George Coetzee.

Jamie Donaldson, who led the tournament after his amazing first round 62, finished tied in sixteenth place, his first round was followed by rounds of 74, 72 and a 69.  A really sad end to a brilliant start to the tournament.

Euro Tour, BMW Masters, China

 

Peter Hanson  (Getty Images)

Peter Hanson/ Getty Images

Peter Hanson has the second round lead in the BMW Masters at Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai, China, after shooting -8 under par 64 to secure the top spot at -14 under par for the tournament. Peter is two shots ahead of Rory McIlroy who surprisingly has not won a regular European Tour event since last year’s Hong Kong Open. Rory shot a second round -7 under par 65, but it was not enough to catch Ryder Cup teammate Peter, who unfortunately started the day with a bogey at the first;

It’s amazing how many good rounds come together after a bogey on the first. It’s pretty soft so you can see yourself shooting some low scores here. I’m happy with the way I played so far and I know it’s going to be a tough one coming up against the World Number One these last couple of days on a golf course he obviously loves.  He won here last year.” 

Rory was pleased he played better today than he did in the first round, the U.S. PGA Champion said;

It was a very good day, I played very well , a little better than I did yesterday. I hit the ball a lot better, and gave myself plenty of opportunities. When I did need to make a par putt here or there, I was able to save those, and overall it was just a very good round of golf and obviously in a great position going into the weekend.” 

Yesterday’s first round leader Jamie Donaldson could not repeat anything like his brilliant first round 62, slipping to a +2 over par 74 in the second round, and is now six shots behind the leader. Jose Maria Olazabal also struggled to a second round of 72, plunging from fourth position to twenty-first.

Robert Karlsson is in third spot with a second round -8 under par 64, and a tournament total of -9 under par, five shots from the top. There are four players on -8 under par, with Justin Rose are Shane Lowery, winner of the Portugal Masters two weeks ago, Noren Alexander and first round leader Jamie Donaldson.

Luke Donald had a better second round, a -5 under par 67, to move into a tie for eighth place, with a posse of seven other players, which includes other Ryder Cup players Martin Kaymer and Nicolas Colsaerts. Luke will need a really good third round if he is to contest this title. It has been another tournament where Luke has started slowly, he has made a bad habit of that this year.